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as Mr. Grey
as Dr. Twardon
as Lee's Sister
as Paralegal Secretary
as First Secretary
as Typing Teacher
as Mr. Garvey
as First Date
as Second Date
as New Secretary
as TV Reporter
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Critic Reviews for Secretary
The cast comes through even when the movie doesn't.
Despite its flaws, Secretary stays in your head and makes you question your own firmly held positions.
A picture with heart. You shouldn't leave feeling soiled or bruised. Just touched.
Self-serious and ultimately pedestrian satire.
I don't know about you, but I found all these outrageously romantic maneuvers both funny and endearing.
Audience Reviews for Secretary
What makes this film stand out as a truly adorable romance is the surprising way that it tackles the spicy kinkiness of its subject as a means for two people to find happiness, while it boasts a great score/soundtrack and Maggie Gyllenhaal shines in a lovely performance.
Based on a short story, written by Mary Gaitskill, "Secretary" tells the story of a mousy young woman who wants to change her life after a lifetime of cutting and self-hatred. Enter her boss (Spader) who is happy to help her change her ways by taking advantage of her sexually, culminating in a sadomasochistic relationship. The film is a test for the audience, to see if you believe it's a love story between two people who want a sub/dom relationship pertaining to a romantic interest that incorporates mutual respect and love, or a story about a man dominating a woman. The former would be a complex and often accepted story, since Gyllenhaal's character has to persuade her paramour that that is indeed what she wants, and that public attention doesn't limit her affection. It's rather sweet in places, but very dark in others, earnest in its depiction of these kinds of sexual fantasies and their participants. It's a bold endeavor for director Shainberg, one that pays off inevitably.
Quite a strange quirky film with a mix of drama and comedy. It won't be for everyone's taste but it does have some funny and weird moments in equal measure.
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